Mother’s Day 2021
A year ago the Rwandan branch of our family moved back to the US- and wonderfully announced they were going to live in the NH seacoast area. Over the past year we had some fun visits around the fire pit.
So now we have one daughter and family in Durham, NH and the other two daughters living in Durham, NC.
We had not been with the North Carolina family in 16 months. A five year old turned six, a two year old turned three, and a new baby was born. A substantial number of hugs and kisses were not shared between a gramma and her granddaughters, not to mention the daughters and son-in-law.
The day our two weeks was up after our second vaccination Dave and I got in the car and drove to North Carolina. This Mother’s Day has been a reunion filled with much joy, punctuated with hugs and kisses. The three year old assures me that she loves me to the moon (hopefully also back again).
Technology has enabled us to keep in touch with each other. We know what is going on, we see pictures and videos, we talk to each other. But, physical presence is irreplaceable. I think of my 96 year old aunt in a nursing home in Maine. I haven’t seen her in a year and a half. I send letters. I have talked with her on the phone. But I want to see her and plan to do so soon.
We have struggled individually and as a global community with COVID. We have yet to determine the long term effects of this stress and isolation on our mental and physical health, the educational progress of our children, the economy, and our lives.
May is National Mental Health Month. The restrictions, fears and stress that COVID has brought are especially difficult when facing mental health struggles. Our mental health professionals are overwhelmed with children and adults needing their services. How can we as a community help support those who are struggling with depression? Anxiety? And a myriad of other mental health issues?
At The River Center we have parenting groups that support parents through the parenting journey. Connecting with others who are experiencing the same frustrations and joys helps relieve feelings of isolation and is a place to gain some creative solutions for parenting struggles. One key to our mental wellness is knowing that we are not alone. The River Center can help you connect with others.
Connecting with my family and others is important for my mental health. And I know I am not alone. We need each other.
Join us for Families Forests and Farms this summer, weekly outdoor activities for families and a safe way to connect with others. To see the schedule and sign up, please go to rivercenter.us.
Margaret E. Nelson, Executive Director
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